Sales are the lifeblood of every business and sales rep’s turnover can hurt sales.
Sales rep turnover costs businesses billions of dollars a year.
Most salespeople understand the importance of keeping their sales rep’s turnover ratio down to crush their sales goals, but very few are doing the necessary work to retain their sales reps.
Keeping your sales rep turnover down doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. Paying attention to a few little things can go a long way. Check out six such things to keep your sales rep’s turnover down. Start trying them out, and you will be able to keep your sales reps loyal and engaged.
Inculcate the Right Listening Skills in Your Sales Rep
B2B selling is tough – more so if you don’t know whom you’re selling to. Many sales reps strive to achieve success but don’t know how to become successful. Active listening is one of the most critical skills you can teach your sales rep to help them in achieving what they’re striving for.
Because, “Selling is listening, not talking. Selling is asking, not telling.”
When it comes to teaching active listening, most sales manager don’t know how to do it, and even the ones who do are doing it without any plan in place. But when you tell your reps to be a better listener without giving them an example, you’re bound to hit a wall – they’ll not learn anything. Here’s a solution: use real-world examples to show your sale reps what they lack in and how they can improve it.
Listening is one skill you need to have to succeed in sales.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Let’s face it – being a sales rep is tough, especially when you’re new to the job and have no previous experience. Unfortunately, most sales manager forget this fact. They keep pressurizing their sales reps to perform better without understanding what they’re going through.
In the small run, this approach can prove effective sometimes, but it the long term it’s bound to affect your rep’s moral negatively. If you want your sales rep to perform better and increase your profits, you should avoid this mistake.
Instead of pressurizing them start motivating them. Now, by motivating, I don’t mean you have to shower them with praise for everything they do. You don’t have to praise them daily. But, when they do something worth congratulating, you should show them that you recognize their efforts. The goal here is to create an atmosphere where sales reps feel respected, desired, and motivated. Once they start feeling that way they are more likely to stay. Best of all, this method to decrease sales rep turnover is free. You just have to use your words wisely.
The idea of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is pretty basic, but not everyone practices it.
Set Specific Goals
Selling is tough; it becomes even tougher if you don’t know what is expected from you. If you want your sales reps to perform well, you should set clear goals. While setting the goals don’t just pick the number based on assumptions but use data to determine a right number (quota).
Also, you should recheck your calculations every once in a while, to make sure about the accuracy of the figure. Why? Because, according to Sibson Consulting 2016 report, despite poor quota attainment, the average increase in quota was 7.5% for past two years and continues to increase. Set goals that are clear as well as achievable.
Make Training an Ongoing Process
Did you know that 55% of the sales reps don’t have the right skills to be successful? (Source: The Brevet Group)
One of the best ways to keep your reps sharp is by making it a point to have training on a recurring basis. By doing so, you can address your reps’ weaknesses quickly, and develop a more meaningful and productive relationship with them. But most businesses are doing training with a set-it-and-forget-it mentality. If you’re following this approach too, it’s high time you change it.
Dedicate an hour or two every month to training – consider bringing in experts and leaders from your industry to conduct those training sessions. Not only it will help your reps to update their skills, but it’ll boost their motivation level too.
Provide Detailed Feedback
No matter how good a sales rep is performing you need to listen to their calls regularly. Don’t let them get too comfortable with any one set of tactics or script — even if they’re fulfilling their quota. Just because their performance is good doesn’t mean they can’t improvise, so if you want them to keep improving, you’ve to review their work and give constant feedback.
Continually listening sales calls might not be possible for all businesses but what they can do is review recordings, and analyze every rep performance to offer timely and specific feedback. This should ideally happen on a monthly basis so that your sales rep can reflect on the feedback and make the changes.
“Make feedback normal. Not a performance review.”
Compensate Them Well
Life of a sales rep can be tough and taxing – there’re are two things that can make it a little easy for them: motivation and money. I have covered the importance of keeping the sales rep motivated in the second point so will jump to the second one right away.
Money is an effective motivator if you don’t pay your sales rep well, they’ll find a company that will. When deciding the compensation for your sales rep, you should do market research on the salary. Find out what people in your industry are paying their reps. Armed with this knowledge you can pick your salary range. For example: if you want to hire a sales rep with six months experience in Chicago, you should consider what other businesses in Chicago pay their sales rep.
And you can’t just give every sales rep same paycheck and be done with. You need to provide different sales compensation depending on their performance to keep high performers motivated and decrease their turnover.